According to Roy White in a new report on PLMALive, a few national chains are seeing evidence of recovery thanks in part to their store brands.
White discusses some key figures gained from recent Census Bureau data gathered over a 12 month period ending in April. The data shows a 3.7% increase in total retail and food service sales in that period, but only a 2.7% increase for grocery store sales. However, well-known chains like Kroger and Stop & Shop have seen more success.
Kroger, based in Cincinnati, saw a 7% jump in sales over the last fiscal year and has climbed 150% since its lowest point in 2011. Aiding Kroger in this success is its extensive private label program which features 10,000 to 12,000 items and growing; Kroger introduced 1,000 additional items last year which outperformed internal goals by 33%.
Stop & Shop, a division of Ahold’s U.S. operations, helped the company increase total sales to 3.4% during the first quarter. Private label plays a huge part as there are over 4,000 items in Stop & Shop alone. Ahold also sees 60% of its revenue from its U.S. operations, which include Giant Carlisle and Giant Landover as well.
From the recent data, White points out that there is still sluggish consumer spending around the country, but some grocery store chains are coping with it with a successful private label program. He also points out that while traditional supermarkets as a whole have struggled, specialty stores like Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s, which only feature private label, are performing much better.